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Archive for April, 2015

cannes_2015

Continuing Hungrian film-makings’ great run at the Cannes Film Festival, we were pleased to see László Nemes’ film Saul Fia (Son of Saul), chosen to compete in the main competition in the Festival de Cannes 2015. This is a coup for the young director, as this is his first feature-length film. It won’t be the director’s first time in France, however. Though born in Budapest, he grew up in Paris, and got his start in the film industry there. After working in both Hungary and France, including time under Hungarian art-house icon Béla Tarr, he studied directing in New York. Awards for his short films include: NexT International Film Festival Bucharest “Cristian Nemescu” Best Directing Award in 2010; Angers Premiers Plans, Best European Short Film (2008); and the Mediawave International Film Festival award for Best Cinematography (2008).

IMDB describes Son of Saul as such: “In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.”

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Below you can see a brief interview of Nemes when was promoting his short film Türelem (With A Little Patience). If he sold you on it, you can watch With A Little Patience, in its impressive 10-minute one-take shot, directly below.

The 68th Festival de Cannes runs from 13 to 24 May 2015. Good luck to Nemes and Son of Saul.


PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

 

 

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It is not exactly breaking news that Tom Hanks is currently spending time in Budapest shooting scenes for Inferno, the third installment of The Di Vinci Code franchise. As far as we know, it is the actor’s first time here in our fair city, so based on his iconic film roles, we have put together a bucket list of things for him to do and see, should he have any free time on his hands.

Forrest Gump observed that, “life is like a box of chocolates.” Following the lead of this bon mot, we suggest a visit to the Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé chocolate shop in Budapest’s District 5. This small boutique chocolatier is at the forefront the artisanal chocolate wave that Budapest is currently experiencing. Known for their bon-bons, infused with local flavors like pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy) and paprika, they won silver and bronze medals from the Academy of Chocolate in London, UK. If life were like a box of Rózsavölgyi chocolates, how sweet it would be!

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One of the most iconic scenes from a Tom Hanks film comes in Big, when his character gives an impromptu recital on a toy piano in a toy store. To satisfy his urge for great piano music, and maybe even learn a thing or two, we recommend a visit to the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy. As we related in an earlier post, the Academy was founded in 1875, and the location serves as both a conservatory and concert hall. The exterior is one of the most striking examples of Art Nouveau in central Pest. The interiors are intricate and warm, decorated with frescoes and Zsolnay ceramics. The building is home to two music halls, one large and one small, and throughout the daylight hours you can hear the music of the conservatory students and concert rehearsals trickle through the windows, though we have yet to hear “Chopsticks” done there on a toy piano.

via Wikipedia

via Wikipedia

 

Hanks played a prison guard with a bladder infection in The Green Mile. For respite from whatever ails him, we recommend a visit to the Semmelweis Museum of Medical History. The museum was named after the great Hungarian doctor, Ignác Semmelweis (1818–65), the ‘saviour of mothers,’ who discovered the cause of puerperal (childbirth) fever, and ushered in the practice of surgeons washing their hands before performing operations. The museum features any number of outdated medical instruments as well as an antique pharmacy, which perhaps Hanks could raid should he feel the irritation of that infection flare up again.

via Trip Adviser

via Trip Adviser

And, of course, if he is not too bored with Di Vinci by now, he can stop over at the Museum of Fine Arts, where there are not one, not two, but three works by the old master on show. It won’t take much detective work to track them down – just ask an attendant for a map! First is a sculpture, known as “The Small Equestrian.” In another part of the museum he can find two Di Vinci drawings, studies for the ‘Battle of Anghiari.’ There’s not much intrigue here – and certainly no murders – but if he has some time on his hands, he could try to figure out who rests in the museum’s ever-growing collection of painted mummy sarcophagi.

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Mr. Hanks, it’s great to host you. We are sure you will find your own way around, but if you need any more clues into all the city has to offer, just ask.

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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1) Allen Ginsburg. America’s most famous beatnik poet, and for a long time, America’s most famous poet, spent a goodly amount of time in Budapest before the Iron Curtain fell. His volume Howl is no less famous here in Hungary, where it is known as Üvöltés. He was close friends with local hero Hobo Blues Band singer László Földes. The band honored Ginsburg with a song “Leples Bitang (Allen Ginsburg, the Shrouded Stranger)”. We’ll save you the time of searching for it on Youtube: watch and enjoy below.

2) Bobby Fischer: Bobby Fischer’s extreme views and mental demise made him something of a pariah for many years before is death. But there was a time when he was hailed as a Cold War warrior and US hero on the scale of medal-winning Olympic athletes. Falling afoul of the US authorities over playing a chess match in Serbia, thereby violating US sanctions, Fischer holed up in Budapest, where he became enamored with the chess scene and took to coaching chess prodigies, the Polgar sisters, in his free time. Says Susan Polgar in the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal, “After Bobby arrived to Budapest, I often drove him and his companions around, showing him my beautiful hometown. We often had lunch or dinner at our place, and went out to restaurants together, which was one of his favorite things to do. He was especially fond of caviar and Japanese cuisine. Another thing Bobby loved in Budapest was our world-famous mineral baths.” He eventually left Hungary for Iceland, but his legacy in Budapest lives on through those he played with.

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3) Yoko Ono: Like Ginsberg, she discovered Budapest in the 1980s, and traveled here with her then boyfriend Sam Habitoy, an American of Hungarian decent. There was a rumor going around in the late 90s that she was trying to lease or by the then-abandoned synagogue on Rumbach street. You can hear her singing her late husband’s song “Imagine” in Budapest in the video below (you know it’s Hungary, because she speaks through an interpreter) in 1986. Imagine that!

4) Alice Cooper. The dark lord of Heavy Metal has gone on record as having a case of the warm fuzzies for Budapest. Quoting his wife, he proclaims it is “more romantic than Paris. There is something about Budapest that is very warm.” We are still looking for the ‘Old Town’ maze he is referring to, but who are we to contradict a man who has been touring the world as a star act for over 40 years? Have a look at the full interview below, where he gushes about his fondness for the classical beauty of the city and its superior gulyás (no surprise, he likes it hot and spicy)!

So many people have come to and fallen in love with Budapest. Will you be the next?

PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.

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